Inspired by the first law of thermodynamics that states that matter can neither be created nor destroyed, but transformed from one state to another, this piece presents a block of ice suspended with metal chains from the ceiling.
Dimming LED lights encased in the block of ice slowly reveal as the ice melts, the droplets falling onto a large metal hot plate below. As the water touches the plate, the liquid sizzles and evaporates revealing intriguing forms and colours until now hidden in the hot plate.The vapours rise and cool and condense on the ice and the cycle continues.
This installation consists of two slave bracelets immersed in water undergoing reverse electroplation. It has been suggested that the origin of the slave bracelets dates back to a time when they were worn by female slaves. The slow destruction of the bracelets with electric currents and the transference of the particles from one bracelet to the other allows Maxwell’s work to raise questions about memory, history and freedom, while exploring the principles behind the relationship between electricity and water.
In this video installation by Maxwell, the figure of Christ from a crucifix is undergoing reverse electroplation. This installation was originally shown in the cloister at St Bartholomew the Great, West Smithfield , London in 2007.
An electric current is passed through the crucifix, which is made of pewter and plated in silver.
The crucifix acts as an electrode (anode) and releases its metal ions through oxidation into the liquid solution (electrolyte), which in turn, the ions are transferred to a hidden metal electrode (cathode).
Although the reverse electroplation of the crucifix is visually both mysterious and beautiful, the artwork also considers the role of precious objects in our society and poses the question of at which point in a production and distribution process does a religious object become sacred and revered?
Many “brands” of crucifixes are produced and plated simultaneously in large vats in factories all around the world, a typical process in the consumer market, but at what point does a simple modeled object such as a crucifix become a special object of veneration…or in other words…when does it become holy?
Positive Negative + -
This wax sculpture / shroud was created in the cloister at St Bartolomew the Great over a period of five days. It consisted of 120kgs of candle wax which was dressed whilst in its molten state over a wooden framework. A video of Electra was projected on to the wax shroud.
This installation consists of a suspended acrylic tank containing an aluminium mesh created in a honeycomb style submerged in water. Electrodes are attached to the honeycomb mesh. Evocative of the structure created by bees to contain the honey they produce from nectar, the work explores the futilty of trying to replicate the raw beauty of nature using synthetic means and the importance of bees within the planets ecosystem.
In 2008 Maxwell was commissioned to create an installation to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the birth of poet John Milton. Set in St. Giles Church, Cripplegate, London, the artworks were inspired by Milton’s epic poem ‘Paradise Lost’.
His first installation entitled ‘Paradise Lost’ consisted of 32 x (2440 x 1220) sheets of card suspended over the nave of the church. Each large sheet contains laser cut text taken from Miltons poem.
The second sculpture entitled ‘Dissolution,’ consists of two suspended type trays, one containing candle wax and the other containing melted lead and printing type letters made from lead and antimony. One compartment also reveals the opening lines from the poem.